The 14th edition of the Aegean Arts Circle has just convened. We all met at the Nostimo cafe in Rafina where we boarded a ship bound for Andros, and within 2 hours of departure, we arrived at the port of Gavrio where we checked into the fabulous Andros Holiday Hotel.
This year’s participants hail from the US, UK, and Greece, and most are professional writers. We have professional journalists, professors of creative writing, creative nonfiction, and journalism, the editor of a fine arts magazine, a novelist. Many are working on essays or memoirs with an emphasis on place, so the Soul of Place workshop had particular appeal.
We kicked off today with a reading of poems about sea journeys…
“The Sound” by Adrianne Kalfopoulou, “Crossing the Water” by Sylvia Plath, and an unpublished list poem by A.E. stallings “How to Pack for a Windswept Island,” which Andros decidedly is. We are in the grips of the Meltemi at present and have also witnessed a major fire on the island, still burning but under control.
our first writing prompt deals involved writing about a sea journey. We then turned the discussion to deep maps, defining the term, discussing their origin, and then how they could be used as a research tool or a structural tool for different projects the writers were working on — a science fiction project, a novel about Turkey, a memoir about a Peloponnese village, a lyric essay on the body.
After lunch of salads, moussaka, okra, and fried squid, we retired to our rooms to write, to the beach for a swim, or to the hotel’s salt water pool for a plunge.
the homework assignment for tomorrow was: Find a place to write by the water. Let the water inspire you. Write about the water and its relationship to the landscape. Write about something in, on, across the water. Write about the water as a part of yourself, of your mind or body. write about water as metaphor.